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Spreading Humankindness for Three Decades

March 22, 2023 Posted in: Patients & Providers  2 minute read time


Pamela Thompson, BSN, RN, market director, Care Management at CHI Saint Joseph Health Partners, began her career at Saint Joseph Hospital in 1988, after graduating from the University of Kentucky. But even many years before that, she knew exactly what she wanted to do professionally.

“I knew I wanted to be a nurse at age 6,” Pam said, noting that her mother and grandmother also worked for Saint Joseph Hospital. “When I graduated from nursing school at UK, I only applied at Saint Joseph Hospital. I knew that was where I wanted to be. Even after we returned from living in North Carolina for five years, I returned to Saint Joseph Hospital. It, again, was the only place I wanted to be.”

Pam and her care management team make it easier for patients to receive health care services. They follow patients after a hospital stay and throughout their care to ensure appointments are maintained, medications are affordable and any needed in-home services are provided.

“It’s often necessary to have multiple providers involved in a patient’s care, but sometimes this can cause confusion for the patient,” Pam said. “Coordinating their care is one of the main benefits of care management. I love what we do and know our passion improves patient care.”

Pamela Thompson

Prior to her current position, Pam worked at the Saint Joseph Free Clinic for 15 years.

“It was a clinic for low-income or uninsured patients,” Pam said. “The mission of the hospital was fully supported by the system and was the best job I ever had.” 

Personal Experience Drives Professional Perspective

Pam and her husband are both cancer survivors and keenly understand the value of compassionate, coordinated care. She also knows firsthand how hard a cancer diagnosis can be and how important it is to make health care a top priority.

“I am a breast cancer survivor and my husband is a prostate cancer survivor who has been cancer-free for eight years,” Pam said. “Both cancers were found in routine exams, so I’m a strong advocate for preventive screenings.”

Pam has been cancer-free for five years and continues to actively encourage others to receive regular screenings and maintain visits with a primary care provider (PCP). Encouraging regular checkups and screenings was always a core part of Pam’s practice as a nurse, but her personal experiences take it a step forward.

“My husband and I are strong examples of how important early detection is,” Pam said. “I encourage everyone to have a yearly exam with their PCP, to develop a relationship with a provider and talk about when to schedule necessary screenings.”

Making time for hobbies and other enjoyable activities also directly ties into the care management strategies she encourages her patients to develop.

“I consider myself an advocate for mental health care too,” Pam said. “Self-care is an important part of that.”

A version of this article originally appeared in the Fall 2022 print edition of Spirit of Health.

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